Thirty Republican Senators voted that it’s okay for the US government to do business with companies that that require employees to agree that they cannot sue the contractor if they are gang raped by fellow employees.
John McCain was one of those thirty dirty old men–along with Jeff Sessions, professional pseudo-Christian C-Streeter Tom DeMint, and that pillar of family values John Ensign–who voted against Senate bill which passed with a resounding majority.
Freshman senator Al Franken put forth a bill which would requiring the Pentagon to no longer do business with any contractor which prevents its employees from suing if they were sexually abused. Like Jamie Leigh Jones who alleges that she was drugged and raped by seven American contractors in Baghdad in 2005.
Jones, who was employed by KBR, which was fighting oil fires, says that a pattern of subsequent behaviour by the firm, including allegedly locking her in a container under armed guard and losing forensic evidence, amounts to a cover-up.
Halliburton/KBR used a clause in her contract requiring disputes to be settled by arbitration to block legal action – a policy which, her lawyer says, has encouraged assaults by creating a climate of impunity…
In legal papers Jones, who was 20 at the time, says she was fed a knockout drug while drinking with KBR firefighters.
“When she awoke the next morning still affected by the drug, she found her body naked and severely bruised, with lacerations to her vagina and anus, blood running down her leg, her breast implants ruptured and her pectoral muscles torn‚ which would later require reconstructive surgery. Upon walking to the rest room, she passed out again,” the papers say.
Jones was treated by a US army doctor who gave forensic evidence to company officials. She says the firm placed her under guard in a shipping container and she was released only after her father asked the US embassy to intervene. When the forensic evidence was handed to investigators two years later, crucial photographs and notes were missing.
KBR does allow arbitration in cases of employee misbehavior, claiming
Most large companies have a dispute resolution programme which is mandatory and is designed to address employee complaints quickly and efficiently. Under KBR’s dispute resolution programme 95% of all employee complaints are resolved quickly to the employees’ satisfaction without a mediation or an arbitration.
Those opposed to Franken’s bill claimed that the government had no business interfering in a private contract between a company and its workers. But rape and sexual harassment should have no place on our country’s moral compass, and certainly those thirty conservatives who are opposed to so many perceived anti-Christian issues can see that Jesus wouldn’t have cosigned rape in a Christian nation. Especially with a profit margin.
[HT Mark Morford]